Trump Hits Back at Cohen’s Claim He Knew of Trump Tower Meeting in Advance

“Someone is trying to make up stories.”

Michael Candelori/ZUMA

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On Friday morning, President Donald Trump denied a new claim that Trump knew about the now infamous Trump Tower meeting in advance. The June 2016 meeting featured a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties who offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton to several Trump campaign associates, including the president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The president’s denial comes hours after CNN reported that Trump’s longtime personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, is ready to testify Trump knew about the meeting before it took place. The explosive claim contradicts previous assertions from the president and his son that he had no knowledge of the June 9, 2016 meeting, which has reportedly been at the center of Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe, until it eventually emerged in the press.

“No, I didn’t know until a couple of days ago,” the president told Reuters in July 2017, nearly one year after the meeting took place. The denial came amid several contradictory statements from Trump Jr., including claims he had never met with anyone from Russia to help his father’s campaign alongside shifting explanations about the meeting’s purpose.

Trump on Friday appeared to suggest that Cohen is making false statements in order to escape legal trouble linked to his taxi business. Responding to the CNN report late Thursday, Rudy Giuliani slammed Cohen, who worked for the president for over a decade, as a “pathological liar” and accused him of being “very jealous” of the Trump children.

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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